It’s that time of year again, where the Irish, the shamrocks and the celebrations come out for St. Patrick’s Day. Being the only 100% Irish person in the company, I thought I’d take it upon myself to do a small piece on Patrick’s Day, what it’s about and some interesting facts that come along with celebrating the day itself. So check them out, 10 things you may or may not have known about our national day:

1. St. Patrick was not Irish, he was from Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

This is an unusual fact that many people don’t realize. St. Patrick is not Irish, he is actually Welsh. He served as a missionary in Ireland, but later fled back to England.

2. The shamrock symbol is a teaching tool

St. Patrick was said to have used it to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. ☘

3. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York City in 1760s

Regardless of it being a holiday based for Irish people, the parade started out in New York for the first time. How come? Many Irish emigrated to NY back in the 1760’s and this parade featured Irish soldiers serving in the English army.

4. Traditionally, every year, the Irish leader hands a crystal bowl full of shamrocks to the US President.

This was news to me! Every year, the Irish leader makes a visit to the White House to present a crystal bowl full of shamrocks to the current president. (See evidence below 😉)
Irish leader US president bowl shamrocks St. Patrick's Day

5. Irish people take St. Patrick’s Day pretty seriously

I don’t think you needed to read this blog to find this one out! But yes, it’s true – it’s a national holiday in Ireland and Northern Ireland on 17th March and it’s certainly a marked day on all of our calendars. The green, the guinness, and the parade all contribute to a great day!

6. It used to be a dry holiday.

Hard to believe, right? Based on its religious associations it was considered an alcohol-free holiday for most of the 20th Century. In 1970, the drinking traditions started. 🍻

7. St. Patrick was originally associated with the colour blue 💙 ✖️️ 💚 ✔️️-

My initial thought when I first heard this was, “No way!” In fact, it’s true, Saint Patrick’s blue was originally associated with Ireland being under British rule. Since the Irish Rebellion in 1798, the tradition of green has stood for our nationalism.

8. 12% of Americans claim to have Irish heritage 🇮🇪 + 🇺🇸

It’s always around this time of year that Irish-Americans come out from the wood work. Around 4.5 million Irish people emigrated to the US between 1840-1930 during and just after the Famine. So there’s a lot of people claiming partial Irish identity through their ancestors!

9. Corned beef and cabbage is a St. Patrick’s Day staple

In honor of their culture, the initial Irish immigrants in the U.S. splurged on flavorful corned beef, which was accompanied by potato and the cheapest vegetable, cabbage.  It didn’t take long for corned beef and cabbage to become associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe you should give it a try this year!

10. It’s Paddy’s Day, NOT Patty’s Day 😉

From what I can see, it’s widely known as Patty’s Day around the U.S., however….in Ireland, it’s Paddy’s Day. Irish people are so strong on this point, so much so that they’ve dedicated a website to explaining it here.. http://paddynotpatty.com/

 

So there you have it, some interesting facts you might not have known before. Wanna know why I’m bothering you with these silly Irish facts? Hear about my journey to SparkPost and why I came here from Ireland.

Have a great St. Patrick’s Day & may the luck of the Irish be with you! ☘️

-Holly

green sparkpost logo holly social media marketing intern

The Big Move – From Dublin to San Francisco

After a 24 hour journey from Ireland in Mid-September, I arrived at the San Francisco International Airport. No job, no accommodation, and little to no money! I had decided to cross the Atlantic pond to start my career in the “Tech Hub” of the world. The move was daunting to say the least, but it only took a couple of weeks to get myself sorted and settled here in San Francisco. Once I had my accommodations organized, I began to tackle the hurdle of the job search!

My path to finding SparkPost was largely dependent on the last couple of years throughout college. So I’ll bring you up to speed with how my experiences in Ireland landed me in the Social Media Marketing Intern role here at SparkPost.

Sociology, Startups, Social Media —> SparkPost

I’m a sociology graduate from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland, and I have a keen interest in the tech industry. I moulded my degree in sociology towards my passion and interests for gender in the tech industry. I used my college years to get involved in as many startups and social enterprises as possible. This is really what paved the way for my interest in tech. (Not to mention my family love tech aswell!) With this in mind, I finished up my final year in college, having completed my Undergraduate Dissertation on the gender divide within the tech industry. As for the decision to move to SF, I adore travelling and learning about new cultures. As a graduate, I also couldn’t think of anything more exciting than starting my career in the tech hub of the world!

I always knew that my experiences would lead me towards tech companies, but it was a case of finding an industry that appealed to me. This is where SparkPost comes into play! I was exploring a ton of different roles in various tech companies in the Bay Area. The role at SparkPost for Social Media Marketing Intern was the first that really combined all my interests. On a personal level, I love social media so using it for business is particularly exciting to me. It’s also my first opportunity of having exposure to an established Inbound Marketing Team. Finally, the SaaS space is totally new to me so it was a completely different adventure coming my direction.

From the start of the process with recruitment, to the greeting at reception for the interview, and finally speaking with the marketing team, I fell in love with SparkPost. After interviewing with Tracy and Jen I was sure that the company would be a perfect fit. The cherry on top? The offices were super cool, amazing views and located in the centre of the Financial District here in SF!😍 In my mind, all the boxes were ticked!

“Welcome to SparkPost!”

The offer from SparkPost came about mid-October and I was super excited to get started as soon as possible! Initially I was nervous, but I was welcomed with open arms by the team and got straight into training. Soon into starting the job here at SparkPost, I not only loved the role, and appreciated SparkPost’s “Circle of Awesomeness” but I also learned how SparkPost and I share some similar passions. For example, in November for the month of giving, one of the charities SparkPost supported was Girls Who Code. This organization addresses the many issues with the gender divide in technology, something which I would have studied closely in college. It’s also something which relate to being a female in the tech industry.

In addition to this, the community here is great, with lot of emphasis on wellness of the employees. It was these things that really made me fall in love with the company from the early days.

What do I want to achieve at SparkPost?

The end goal? I want to learn and be able to inspire others through the team here. I’m currently getting exposure to a bunch of really great platforms that we use on a daily basis for the marketing. Plus, I have the best mentors, Jen and Tracy, training and managing me, and allowing me to grow my inbound marketing experience. I want to learn about SparkPost as a company and the email infrastructure industry as a whole. Finally, I’m the only Irish employee here at SparkPost. I want to use this opportunity to fully immerse myself into the American culture!

What next?

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”- (Steve Jobs, 2005)

This is one of my favorite quotes, and it resonates with how I feel about my adventure this year at SparkPost. Every path I have taken in the last few years has lead me to where I am now, and every choice I make in the next year will lead me to my next adventure. I’m using the next year to discover my exact interests and niches so I look forward to seeing where my experience of the tech industry in the U.S. brings me on the my next journey.

If you have any more queries regarding internships or career opportunities at SparkPost, please be sure to contact us!

– Holly

marketing intern grace in sparkpost flame cutout

“Dear Grace, SparkPost is pleased to offer you a position as a Social Media Marketing Intern.”

Initially, it took me a couple minutes to fully digest the email. Then it set in all at once. I screamed, did some air kicks, and treated myself to fancy Chinese food. That’s what everyone does after receiving an internship offer, right? But to understand how I got to SparkPost–and why I treated myself to fancy Chinese food–I have to take you back a couple months.

From Berkeley to Beijing

This past semester, I studied abroad at Peking University in Beijing. I’m a third-year at UC Berkeley, studying economics, but I’ve taken loads of Chinese classes for fun so China was the obvious place for me to study abroad. I checked every cliched study abroad experience off the list during my stay–traveling, meeting new people, and trying unusual new foods (deep-fried crickets are surprisingly delicious 😋 ). And of course, the occasional studying. Aside from the “typical” study abroad experience, I also interned at TEDxBeijing. They hired me as a social media intern and I created content for their American social media outlets.

Interning at TEDxBeijing helped me to understand the immense potential within social media, and compelled me to further explore its professional use. Some people think social media is futile, but its effects on the real world are anything but. Social media is–without a doubt–connecting and mobilizing people from opposite corners of the world, which are reasons why I love and use it. (Hey, we might even have a couple mutual friends on Facebook!) Another reason I love social media is because of its effective business utility. I run an online bakery called Grace Cho Bakes on Facebook, as of now, and I wouldn’t have that privilege if it weren’t for social media.

My Journey to Becoming a Marketing Intern

To be honest, I initially hadn’t planned on interning this summer because I wanted to spend it with my family. I had also interned the entire previous semester so you can see why I wanted to relax for three months. Despite the temptation of a lazy summer, I just couldn’t bring myself to it. I had built too much momentum from interning and traveling to just pause for three months.

So in early May, I hopped onto LinkedIn and my internship search officially commenced. I searched tirelessly for marketing internships located in my dream city, San Francisco. I’m a native Angeleno but San Francisco is undoubtedly where I belong. This city stretches me to learn and grow, despite how uncomfortable or unwilling I may be. It’s also home to an incomparable culture of awareness, progressiveness, and, my favorite, food. (I mean, have you been to Tartine?) So after I narrowed down my location, I created a spreadsheet to input every company I wanted to work at. And just a few minutes later, I had made my first entry.

I was searching for internships one day, as per my daily ritual, when I came across SparkPost’s listing for a social media marketing internship. SparkPost’s mission to help companies of all sizes succeed was enough incentive for me to apply, but its company culture was what ultimately hooked me. SparkPost truly values every employee’s voice. I guarantee you most companies don’t have an “Ask Us Anything” Slack channel for anyone, including interns, to ask the CEO, and other leaders, any question that comes to mind. I knew SparkPost and I were a good fit, so I sent in my application and prayed it didn’t go into a black hole or, even worse, spam. Luckily, SparkPost’s recruiter, Amara, received my application and later sent me an email to schedule an interview. Long story short: two interviews, one congratulatory email, and some grownup paperwork later, I arrived at SparkPost.

“Grace, Welcome to the Team”

On my first day of work, I was greeted at the door and given a tour around the office. Then I sat at my shiny new desk and had cupcakes delivered to me, courtesy of my new boss, with a note saying “Grace, Welcome to the Team.” I immediately felt the warmth of the people at SparkPost. In the three weeks I’ve been here, I’ve learned countless lessons about social media marketing and I rediscover its power every day. My two mentors, Jennifer, Marketing Programs Manager, and Tracy, Director of Inbound Marketing, teach me something new on a daily basis. Everything from writing gripping content that gains traction to using Marketo to send newsletters. They also challenge me to question every method and reason, which pushes me to learn quickly yet thoroughly.

My daily routine as a marketing intern is to monitor our corporate social media accounts and write content for them. If you read SparkPost’s Tweets, you might be reading what I wrote while I drink my Philz iced chai (sweet and creamy, of course). I also take on other exciting tasks, like writing my very own blogpost! And while I’m just an intern, I feel as equal and appreciated as everyone else in the office.

Finally, the answer to what many people have been asking. Why SparkPost as a marketing intern? Well, for one, I get paid to be on social media all day, which is my second favorite pastime after baking. I also get to learn about email and the tech industry while perusing social media outlets, transforming my daily activities into professional development. And because the kitchen pantry and fridge are always stocked, I never have to worry about being hungry. A bottle of Naked juice and toast for a 2pm snack? Don’t mind if I do.

Future Plans

As for my future plans, I’m taking a slightly different route. I want to open a bakery and use what I’ve learned as a marketing intern to promote and build it. I started baking when I was 11 and what started out as a summer hobby quickly intensified into a passion. However, I still want to stay involved in social media. Baking and social media are both ever-changing, exciting, and collaborative–everything I want my future to be.

– Grace

We’d love to hear about experiences you’ve had as an intern! Drop us a line below or give us a shout on Twitter.

If you liked this post, you might also like: